Bengie Molina pays homage to family, baseball in new memoir | St. Louis Public Radio

Bengie Molina pays homage to family, baseball in new memoir

Jun 1, 2015

Bengie Molina
Credit Alex Heuer

Former Major League Baseball catcher Bengie Molina, the eldest brother of baseball players Yadier and José Molina,  joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss his new memoir, “Molina: The Story of a Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty.”

“Molina” chronicles the life of Bengie, Yadier and José from their younger days of living in poverty in Puerto Rico to becoming big-name sports figures. The book details how their father, Benjamín Molina, encouraged and coached the three brothers during their days of playing little league baseball, and eventually helping them to the big league. Currently, Yadier is a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, José is recovering from knee surgery, Bengie is a former catcher for the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels. All brothers have won World Series championships.

Despite having grown up in poverty, Bengie explained that his family’s circumstances and father’s wisdom taught them valuable life lessons that he has carried over into adulthood and in the game of baseball. "Through baseball, he taught us life,” Bengie said of his father. “For us, he was our hero. He was very special and humble.”

“[Poverty] made us appreciate life, now that we are here,” he added. “What [my brothers and I] were thinking was that we had to make it to the major leagues so that my mom and dad wouldn’t have to work anymore.”

Bengie described Benjamín as a quiet man at home, yet outgoing on the baseball field. Though his father dreamed of playing major league baseball, he only made it as far as the amateur league. In 2002, Benjamín was inducted into Puerto Rico’s amateur baseball hall of fame.

Although Benjamín did not make it to the major leagues, Bengie said that their father’s dream lives on through his children. Their father passed away in October 2008, but lived long enough to appreciate his sons’ accomplishments.

Among other topics, the memoir highlights how the Molinas handled becoming millionaires, what their World Series wins meant to them and the importance of taking care of family.

“My brothers are so special to me,” Bengie said. “When I was growing up my dad said ‘take care of the house.’ I took it very serious and wanted to make sure [my brothers] followed me as a role model.”

Related Events:

St. Louis County Library Presents Bengie Molina Discussion and Signing

  • When: Monday, June 1, 7 p.m.
  • Where: St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
  • More information

Left Bank Books Presents Bengie Molina Signing

  • When: Wednesday, June 3, 5 p.m.
  • Where: Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave.
  • More information

St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.